Funny how the Job Creator myth, has gained such currency, as a time-honored principle of Capitalism.
The Job Creators will rehire, just give them time -- Business is Cyclical, you know.
Well maybe, just maybe, this "boom-bust" cycle is different ...
Editorial -- Charleston Gazette -- Dec 2, 2011
Even before the Great Recession hit in 2007, America was suffering an erosion of employment, as millions of U.S. jobs were sent overseas and high-tech advances enabled corporations to downsize. Business Week calls 1999-2009 "The Lost Decade for Jobs."
Columbia University sociologist Herbert Gans says modern capitalism has learned how "to eliminate as many jobs as it creates -- or more jobs than it creates." It does so through "continued outsourcing of jobs to low-wage countries" and by "continuing computerization and mechanization of manufacturing and of services not requiring hands-on human contact."
In olden times, when new technology threw multitudes out of work, he says, many cast-off people soon died of poverty diseases, or went to colonies, or were put into armies as cannon fodder. But those times have faded, and now America is left with a massive segment of idled people. Dr. Gans warned:"A society that has permanently expelled a significant proportion of its members from the work force would soon deteriorate into an unbelievably angry country, with intense and continuing conflict between the have-jobs and the have-nones. America could become a very sick society."
Could become a sick society -- has anybody been reading the unemployment news for that last several years? Hello!
First off, there has been the systematic erosion of our blue-collar manufacturing base ...
Times change, displaced people should just "get retraining" ... or so we were told. It'll be alright.
U.S. manufacturing up against an uneven playing field globally
by U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski, Chicago Sun-Times -- Dec 3, 2011
The last 10 years were indeed a “lost decade” for manufacturing employment in the Chicago region, as the Sun-Times reported last Sunday. But as the Sun-Times also noted, the country as a whole fared no better, shedding one-third of all factory jobs.
A national crisis demands a national response. Washington should not leave the states to fight among themselves for a slice of an ever-shrinking pie.
Even high-tech white-collar jobs were not immune from that foreign-cost-reduction bug, otherwise known as outsourcing.
It's just going around, and you never know what Capital Enterprise that "bug" is going to strike next:
Outsourcing Giant Finds It Must Be Client, Too
by Vikas Bajaj, NYTimes, India -- Nov 30, 2011
India is known the world over as a prime innovator of outsourcing for foreign companies, which take advantage of its cheap, English-speaking labor force. Less well known is the extent to which Indian companies outsource their own jobs within their own country.
Walk into any of India’s shining new shopping malls that sell expensive brands, like Gucci and Satya Paul, and many of the store clerks, janitors and security guards will be on the payrolls of outsourcing companies, not those of the owners of the mall or stores in it, executives say.
The practice highlights a fundamental tension between India’s socialist past and a new freewheeling, private sector that is increasingly powering the economy while chafing at what many companies say are laws so protective of workers that they blunt hiring and stifle growth.
That capacity for capital growth -- MUST be fed ... or so we have all been told.
And when "structural change" comes to an economy, spurred on by innovation, invention, and the desire to make a serious profit -- sometimes the old ways of making a living, sometimes they just get left behind, in the dust-bins of history.
Afterall, there's not a call for horse-drawn carriages anymore these days ... which is a real shame, when you stop to think about it.
Progress always moves on -- and so should we ... or so conventional wisdom tells us. Autos they're the wave of the future -- your life will never be the same ... Trust us.
"We’re entering unknown territory in the quest to reduce labor costs. The AI revolution [Artificial Intelligence] is doing to white collar jobs what robotics did to blue collar jobs. Race Against the Machine is a bold effort to make sense of the future of work. No one else is doing serious thinking about a force that will lead to a restructuring of the economy that is more profound and far-reaching than the transition from the agricultural to the industrial age."-- Tim O’Reilly -- review of Race Against the Machine
Erik Brynjolfsson and I [Andrew McAfee] have just published our new book Race Against the Machine: How the Digital Revolution is Accelerating Innovation, Driving Productivity, and Irreversibly Transforming Employment and the Economy. It’s an ebook available for sale at Amazon (other ebook formats coming soon).
[...]"Race Against the Machine is a portrait of the digital world -- a world where competition, labor and leadership are less important than collaboration, creativity and networks."-- Nicholas Negroponte -- review of Race Against the Machine
"... and Time marches on" ... (as one of my heroes is rather famous for saying) ...
"They can rebuild him -- they have the tools" ... I bet they can build a better world too, if they ever set their minds to it ...
More Jobs Predicted for Machines, Not People
by Steve Lohr, NYTimes -- Oct 23, 2011
Yet as the employment picture failed to brighten in the last two years, the two changed course to examine technology’s role in the jobless recovery.
The authors [Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew P. McAfee] are not the only ones recently to point to the job fallout from technology. In the current issue of the McKinsey Quarterly, W. Brian Arthur, an external professor at the Santa Fe Institute, warns that technology is quickly taking over service jobs, following the waves of automation of farm and factory work. “This last repository of jobs is shrinking -- fewer of us in the future may have white-collar business process jobs -- and we have a problem,” Mr. Arthur writes.
"We may have a problem"? ... Aahh, ya think?
When every vestige of our fragile human economy has been quietly surrendered to the unstoppable forces of automation and cost reduction -- even to consume those jobs of business, tech, and service industries -- will anyone ever stop to wonder ...
Why is this no longer working?
Why are so many people being cast aside, as if they were only so much "fodder"?
Left to sink or swim on our own ... left to simply fade away ... as just another unrecognized, unacknowledged cost of progress ...